Sex Addiction Flying High
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Sex Addiction: Flying High

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This post was originally published on May 12, 2014.

If you don’t believe in sex addiction, the story of a British lass who was caught banging a stranger on a Virgin Atlantic flight to Las Vegas might be a good place to start. Some may argue that the 20-year old, who was reportedly drunk and loud, is merely a young girl with a lust for life (and random men). But what makes this story different than your run-of-the-mill mile-high clubalog is that the girl was traveling with her parents. Yep, this girl was on a transatlantic flight from Gatwick to Vegas (which, to be fair, does sound like her sort of town) when she and her row-mate hit it off. Off to the bathroom they went and when other passengers complained about the noise, the girl—God bless her—lost her temper with the crew. Not an apologetic wallflower, this one.

Who Am I to Judge?

Now, I’m not one to pass moral judgment on stuff like this but I am trying to make a point—namely, that either this girl was so blasted she couldn’t really control what she was doing, is so completely manic that what her parents think (and how this might make them feel) is of no concern to her or the dynamic she has with her parents is one that would accommodate this level of hypersexuality. All scenarios are highly problematic, wouldn’t you say?

Sex addiction and mania-derived hypersexuality are not mutually exclusive. While many people identify as sex addicts who aren’t bi-polar or cyclothymatic, people who experience hypersexuality due to mania are experiencing sex addiction during that time (they may or may not struggle with the addiction when their mania has passed). I know self-diagnosis is the name of the addiction game but I gotta say that someone who is so hot to get her sexual needs met that she’s lost the ability to care about how this behavior may make a parent feel—not to mention have concern about public appropriateness, rules, sanitary issues, how loud sex sounds might affect a child, other passengers who have to pee and the like—sounds a bit like a sex addict to me. Cause that’s the thing, isn’t it? Addicts get their needs met regardless of the immediate or long-term consequences.

Let’s Get Real

Perhaps you know this girl—or someone like her—and so you are still picturing a “harmless” 20-year-old wild child who just enjoys sex and DGAF. But that archetype is an urban legend. Euphemize it all you want; a sexual attention need this great usually comes to someone who wasn’t properly nurtured as a child, or who was overly nurtured by an uncle, and uses sex to self-validate; this is sex addition. Unless, again, she’s a problem drinker and sex wasn’t the real need being met here.

Another angle to consider is Shameless, as in the TV show. Possibly our girl comes from a Gallagher-esque household and has such a dysfunctional and boundary-less relationship with her parents that their feelings about her screwing a stranger loudly in a plane bathroom while passengers are forced to listen in aren’t even a factor? When you are a child from that kind of family dynamic, the message you get is that bad behavior is encouraged and pre-condoned.

Whatever the reason, I feel compassion for her. No matter how sexy you might think it is to have a one-flight stand, the bubble is burst the minute they handcuff you to your seat for a nine-hour flight. I have to imagine that this is one hangover that will hang over her head for sometime.

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About Author

Danielle Stewart is a Los Angeles-based writer and recovering comedian. She has written for Showtime, E!, and MTV, as well as print publications such as Us Weekly and Life & Style Magazine. She returned to school and is currently working her way towards a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves coffee, Law & Order SVU, and her emotional support dog, Benson.